Let me start with a big note: YOU DON’T NEED A HOLOLENS TO LEARN HOLOGRAPHIC COMPUTING. Yes, it’s true. You just need a windows 10 PC with the requirements that I outline below. Because you can use the Hololens emulator which runs on the PC and simulates what you could see on the Hololens.
Microsoft has described the steps already very well here: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/holographic/install_the_tools However I am summarising the same and also list some hiccups which you may have while setting up your Hololens environment.
Note that you follow the order of installing the tools below. Because some of them may fail if you break the order.
- Windows 10 OS Enterprise or Education Edition (Home is not supported). If you have an option, choose a computer with Windows 10 OS on it and not a Virtual Machine. However, VMs installed with Windows 10 also work. But they are painfully slow ☹
- 64-bit CPU (32-bit does not work for Hololens dev)
- CPU with 4 cores (or multiple CPU’s with a total of 4 cores)
- 8 GB of RAM or more (the more this is, the better)
- Hyper-V support. To enable Hyper V in Windows 10 BIOS, follow steps here https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/canitpro/2015/09/08/step-by-step-enabling-hyper-v-for-use-on-windows-10/
- Setup the development environment. Again, this is already recorded here very well https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/holographic/install_the_tools Note: There is no separate SDK for Hololens
- Install the Visual Studio Community edition. Free will do. We do not need the commercial one for personal use. Check the Visual Studio system requirements https://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/productinfo/vs2013-sysrequirements-vs
While installing VS, choose the UWP workload. Skip the Unity workload because you will be doing this in the next step
8. Install Unity: latest version is always good (anything above 5.5 is good) https://store.unity.com/download. You are able to do quite a lot of things with the personal edition (free) already. However if you need extra features (I will indicate this in a few articles where you’d then buy the license for a Pro version)
While installing Unity, Windows Store module also to be included
9. Hololens Emulator needs Visual Studio before so don’t install this out of order
Some hiccups and solutions for them below:
- You may see an error while installing the emulator that you need “Visual Studio <version> Update 1 and UWP tools version <version #>”. There are two possible causes of this error,
- You have Visual Studio <version> Update 1 or later, but you do not have the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) tools installed. This is an optional feature for Visual Studio. You can add this feature by modifying your Visual Studio installation in Programs and Features. This takes some time
- Hololens emulator installation failed- could be because Visual Studio is not already present on the system. It is a prerequisite for the Emulator to install correctly
I would also insist staying up to date with latest packages and fixes informed on Microsoft’s page: this page has latest updates of the latest tools- therefore I have linked this directly https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/install_the_tools